To mark the twelfth anniversary of Sean’s passing, and in honor and memory of the victims of the Orlando shooting (and of victims of hatred and gun violence nationwide), the Sean McGrath Fund has issued two $500 grants: one to fight hatred and extremism through the Southern Poverty Law Center, and one to the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund to help combat the country’s gun violence epidemic.
Today Sean would have turned 40.
Fun fact: He was born in 1976, a “bicentennial baby.”
While he left behind the graying hair and wonky middle aged skateboarding knees to his friends, he also missed out on fatherhood, which he very much wanted and would have rocked at. Jessie already tells her two-year-old daughter about her “guardian angel” Sean. He loved kids, would have loved Talia, would have loved all his nieces and nephews, Maya, Kira, Justin, Zachary, Riley, Ethan, Sawyer, Radek, and Fiona. A few of these lucky kids got to meet their uncle, and the rest know him through the stories we tell.
In honor of Sean’s 40th birthday, The Sean McGrath Fund is making a $1000 donation, through the Princeton Area Community Foundation, to HiTOPS, a fantastic resource for teens in Mercer County, NJ. In their own words, “HiTOPS is a health education and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring every adolescent safe passage to adulthood by providing comprehensive sexuality education and promoting healthy relationships and supportive connections.”
Happy Birthday Sean! We love you!
In 2002, Sean McGrath was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer. He fought long and hard for recovery for two years and sadly lost that battle in 2004. Shortly after his diagnosis his good friends and bandmates rallied around Sean and organized the “Hold On To Your Friends” benefit concert at Irving Plaza in New York City to help with his expenses. The concert featured the bands Thursday, Midtown, The Movielife, and Taking Back Sunday. His friends continued to raise money and to help Sean in many other ways throughout his struggle. Sadly, two years to the day after that benefit show, we were attending Sean’s wake in south Jersey.
Sean was a former colleague and Chicago City Limits classmate of Bruce’s as well as a founding member of New Jersey bands Saves The Day, Mouthpiece, and Hands Tied. Jessie and Sean had first met ten years earlier, and were living together along with two cats in a studio apartment in Brooklyn at the time of his diagnosis.
When we lost Sean, we wanted to do something positive with our leftover funds, in his name and spirit. To do so, Bruce and his fiancée Jessie founded The Sean McGrath Fund under the auspices of the Princeton Area Community Foundation on the first anniversary of his death.
Since its inception in 2005, the Sean McGrath fund has provided financial support to a wealth of organizations serving a wide array of health and humanitarian causes. In order to continue doling out grant money to worthy organizations, we need to continue raising money. We hope you’ll consider making a donation of any amount to The Sean McGrath Fund to assist in carrying on Sean’s spirit of humanitarianism and kindness. Every dollar helps, so please consider giving any amount.